Gathering the straws of life together

Feeding the Farmers

Feeding the Farmers

As a community we rely on farmers feeding us and now it is time for us to take a role in feeding the farmers. My comments come in the context of severe drought conditions across Australia. However, given that I live in Queensland I want to focus on feeding the farmers in my backyard, in Western Queensland. It is a tough life being a crop farmer or a livestock farmer. The worst times for farmers is when there is little or no water. Not enough water to raise crops for feed or not enough water for the grass to grow. The paddocks turn to dust and before long, the dust forms a tear in the eyes of the farmer.

Australia…a land of sweeping plains…of ragged mountain ranges.

Feeding the farmers is an opportunity for all of us who live in the city to lend a hand in time of drought. There are a number of charities that will channel gifts and money to those farmers most in need. If you are thinking of helping feed the farmers¬†there are a couple of charities you could consider. There groups will channel my gift and yours to a needy farmer –¬†Aussie Helpers; Buy a Bale; or the Thirsty Cow.

Want to know more about what is happening for farmers. Read here about Rural Aid Australia and the work they are doing. The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has taken an important step in giving a helping hand and feeding the farmers. The NFF has joined with Rotary Australia and Channel 9 on a national fundraising effort to support drought affected farming families. Mateship is alive and well in Australia.

Reading about the struggles the farmers face with drought is very confronting. Every time I turn on a tap or have a shower I am aware of the value of water. We all need water. The farmers who grow our food need water. My post “what about water” tells another story about water. Whatever way we look at it – we need water for our survival. But now our farmers need our help at a time where a drop of water becomes their most precious commodity. Why do farmer’s keep going when things are so tough? They have put so much hard work into their land and like others even though Australia is a land of extremes – they love their land, they love Australia. Just why they love Australia and just why I love Australia is summed up in Dorothea Mackeller’s famous poem “My Country”.

The love of field and coppice
Of green and shaded lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins.
Strong love of grey-blue distance,
Brown streams and soft, dim skies
I know, but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me!

The stark white ring-barked forests,
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon,
Green tangle of the brushes
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops,
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When, sick at heart, around us
We see the cattle die
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the rainbow gold,
For flood and fire and famine
She pays us back threefold.
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze …

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand
though Earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.



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